loader image

Smoke & Mirrors – Trump and Travel to Cuba

by | Oct 22, 2020 | News

As part of the Trump administration’s continued efforts to reverse the strategy of restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, the U.S. Treasury Department announced additional prohibitions on hotel accommodations for U.S. travel to Cuba and restrictions on the importation of Cuban rum and Cuban cigars.  The timing of the announcement is intentionally just weeks before the U.S. Presidential election. It is an effort to appease the Cuban-American voting bloc in the critical swing state of Florida. The announcement also falls one day after Trump’s trademark registration with Cuban authorities for future Trump Organization business dealings in Cuba was exposed.

“Let’s be clear. These policies only serve to confuse travelers into thinking they cannot visit Cuba once borders are re-opened to U.S. citizens, now closed due to the pandemic,” said David Lee, founder, and owner, of Cultural Cuba. “There is nothing about prohibiting Americans from staying in hotels, most of which are joint ventures with European hotel companies, that will serve to topple the current Cuban government.”

As to the new amendment to imports; “Prohibiting Americans from bringing back cigars and rum after trips to Cuba accomplishes absolutely nothing.  It has almost zero effect on Cuba’s rum and cigar export numbers. The gesture creates questions and confusion in the minds of American travelers wanting to legally travel to and explore Cuba,” said Lee.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the wide-spread economic hardships on Cuba’s population of 11 million, with Cuba on complete lockdown for months and the island’s borders closed to outside visitors.  The country plans to slowly and carefully open from November 1, 2020, with several U.S. airlines offering non-stop flights from major U.S. cities already scheduled.

It is important to note that these latest prohibitions on travelers do not prevent U.S. citizens from legally traveling to Cuba and experiencing firsthand what makes Cuba such a magical destination.

“Do not be swayed by the false spin and manipulations of a desperate politician. The legal travel category of Support for the Cuban People does just that: it supports the well-being of our neighbors, the Cuban people. A people who are warm, inviting, educated, musically, and artistically talented and who are fascinated by American culture. Cultural exchange furthers the spirit and implementation of democracy. These prohibitions only hurt the innocent Cuban people who remain pawns of failed politics.” 


How can you ensure a successful and safe trip to Cuba?  Be sure to work with a company that has specific experience planning Cuba travel logistics and can guide you regarding what to do (and what not to do) once you are on the Island. Cultural Cuba’s owner founder David Lee was named a  Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist and one of the “Top 100 Travel Gurus” by Town & Country.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about private, custom, and legal travel to Cuba. Cultural Cuba seamlessly manages all the logistics so that our travelers can completely and safely enjoy a dynamic and enriching trip to Cuba.

IMG 7562 scaled

David Lee



Founded in 2011, Cultural Cuba is a leading travel company specializing in custom legal travel to Cuba. With offices in Orlando, Chicago, and Havana, the company curates niche itineraries using dedicated private expert Cultural Cuban guides, to provide immersive and off-the-beaten-path experiences. These tours directly support hundreds of Cubans including artists, musicians, dancers, school children, and small business owners, most of whom completely rely on the funds generated by these experiential tours. As a licensed tour operator, the company seamlessly manages all travel logistics and documentation through a highly trained, in-house, on-the-ground Havana and U.S.-based staff.

You May Also Like…

Cuba Is Open to All Travelers

Cuba Is Open to All Travelers

For our latest blog post we decided to share Gay Nagle Myers' interview that appeared Nov 23, 2021 in Travel Weekly. "Cuba is open!" said David Lee, founder and owner of Cultural...